CLEVELAND- Metalformers' economic projections for the next three months continue to rise, according to the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report. Conducted monthly, the Business Conditions Report is an economic indicator for the manufacturing world, sampling 150 manufacturing companies. Information is based on conditions as of Sept. 1, 2003.

Forty-five percent of survey respondents expect the trend of economic activity for the next three months to increase as compared with today. This percentage is an improvement of 3% from last month, and the highest mark since May 2002. Only 7% predicted that activity would drop, a 2% recovery from August, and the most encouraging mark since April 2002. The remainder, 48%, thought activity would remain about the same.

Optimism was also apparent when 49% of participants anticipated that incoming orders would increase during the next three months, up 1% from last month and the highest number of the past 16 months. Only 7% expected orders to decrease, and 44% said that orders would not change.

When asked whether any plant work force was currently on short time or layoff, 21% reported "yes," a 2% improvement from last month and the third consecutive month of decreased layoffs.